Book Review: The Pun Also Rises by John Pollack

May 9, 2011


“The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics” by John Pollack is a non-fiction book, in which the author tells his-story of puns. Even though this book is short in pages, it is long in content.

  • 240 pages
  • Publisher: Gotham
  • Language: English
  • ISBN: 1592406234

The pub­lisher has made avail­able one (1) copy of “The Pun Also Rises” to be given out– enter at the end of the post.
Sorry about the puns in this post.

Buy The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics from*My rating for The Pun Also Rises4
Buy The Pun Also Rises from*

More Books by John Pollack*


“The Pun Also Rises” by John Pollack is a serious book about a silly subject. Mr. Pollack goes into detail telling us how he won the 1995 O. Henry Pun-Off World Championship, yet neglects to pun-tificate or write at least one Al-a-Gore-y about his experience as Bill Clinton’s speech writer.

After a short history of jokes and a neurological lesson explaining how the mind works, for most of us at least, Mr. Pollack devotes the rest of the book to the history and significance of punning. The book is mostly interesting and is a short read, so I booked it in a day. Mr. Pollack recounts how and why puns went in and out of fashion and tries to explain people’s reaction to puns (groans, etc.).

It could be that trying to make a point, Mr. Pollack fell into the trap of thinking too much (a dangerous pastime). I love puns, I roar at “South Park” while my beloved wife just shakes her head in disbelief, but I certainly don’t think too much about why I laugh. Mr. Pollack brings us about a twelve, or most likely a dozen, definitions of what pun actually is. While we think of puns as simple (“What building has the most stories? The library”) some of them are quite complex and require our brains to go through hundreds of variations before we find the joke (Why was May 4th picked to be the “International Star Wars day”?).

Image from

Besides the famous comedians Mr. Pollack writes Abbott, the author also explores famous literary figures in a Swift manner. He evaluates Shakespeare’s jokes which, even though old, might still get a laugh around the Globe.

This is an entertaining book, Mr. Pollack shows much enthusiasm for the subject and peppers his pages with puns which will make you laugh, or cringe, or most likely both. If you like language or little known facts, this book for you told with pun-etrating humor.

All in all – this book is simply a play on words.
OK, I’m done!

My favorite pun is from The Simpsons:
Prison warden, describing a painting by a convict:
He painted a unicorn in space! What does it breathe?”
Homer: “Air?”
Warden: “There’s no air in space!”
Homer: “There’s an Air in Space Museum.”
So tell me, what’s your favorite pun?


John Pollack loves words and one could tell from the book. He is a former World Pun Champion and speech writer for President Bill Clinton. In the book Mr. Pollack explains the significance of the mighty pun. The author shows the reader how the pun revolutionized the language weaving stories, history, science, culture and literature.

Buy & Save on “The Pun Also Rises” through the ManOfLa­Book affil­i­ate account on:
|Book Depos­i­tory US | Book Depos­i­tory UK



  • Con­test is for one (1) new copy of “The Pun Also Rises”.
  • There will be ONE (1) WINNER
  • Must be a US/Canada mail­ing Address
  • Ends Sunday May 15, 2011
  • Win­ners will be cho­sen using
  • Win­ners will have 24 hours after my ini­tial con­tact to write back their mail­ing address, oth­er­wise alter­nate win­ners will be picked

Congratulations: …

TLC Book Tour for “The Pun Also Rises”:
Thursday, April 14th: Luxury Reading
Friday, April 15th: Reading Through Life
Monday, April 18th: Book Club Classics!
Wednesday, April 20th: Book Hooked Blog
Thursday, April 21st: Life is a Patchwork Quilt
Monday, April 25th: The Broke and the Bookish
Tuesday, April 26th: Rundpinne
Wednesday, April 27th: It’s All About Books
Thursday, April 28th: eclectic/eccentric
Friday, April 29th: In the Next Room – review
Friday, April 29th: In the Next Room – guest post
Wednesday, May 4th: Booksnob
Wednesday, May 4th: Chaotic Compendiums
Monday, May 9th: Man of La Book
Wednesday, May 11th: Library of Clean Reads and NoveauWriter
Friday, May 13th: SparksMarks

Zohar — Man of la Book
Dis­claimer:I got this book for free from TLC Book Tours
*Ama­zon links point to an affil­i­ate account, the money is usually spent on books

I got this book for free as part of the

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This post is in the 69th
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Wrap Up

The Pun Also Rises: How the Humble Pun Revolutionized Language, Changed History, and Made Wordplay More Than Some Antics by John Pollack


  • Komal MansoorMay 9, 2011 at 9:11 am

    Very direct, to-the-point yet very wholesome review! Sadly, ur giveaway is not international. Being from UK, I cannot participate:(
    Anyways, always love reading ur posts!:)


    • zoharMay 9, 2011 at 9:17 am

      Thanks for the comment

      Where to ship is the one rule that I’m given by the publisher (since they send the book).
      I’ve heard several stories of folks in Europe that have an arrangement with a friend in the US so they could use their address and either they send them the book or have someone who travels often bring it to them.

  • BooksnobMay 9, 2011 at 7:53 pm

    Stopping by to read your review since you read mine. I love puns and enjoyed the book as well. I am now following you on twitter. How could your wife think you an idiot? Mine husband thinks I avoid work (housework) that is and he is probably right as I would rather read and write. Poor Guy.

    • zoharMay 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm

      My wife doesn’t like housework either, but she’s a great cook 🙂

  • HeatherMay 10, 2011 at 8:16 pm

    I was checking this out at the bookstore the other day. I’m glad you reviewed it here–it definitely sounds like I would enjoy reading it. I love a good pun.

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